A 14-year-old selected America's Top Young Scientist for creating soap to cure skin cancer.
A 14-year-old selected America’s Top Young Scientist for creating soap to cure skin cancer.

One of the best middle school scientific contests in the nation, Heman Bekele, a ninth student from Annandale, Virginia, earned the coveted prize from 3M and Discovery Education.

Heman’s entry for the prize included the statement, “I believe that young minds can make a positive impact on the world.”

“I have always been interested in biology and technology, and this challenge gave me the perfect platform to showcase my ideas,” he said.

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What is the ‘America’s Top Young Scientist’ contest?

For the previous four months, Heman had to beat off nine other competitors in order to be crowned “America’s Top Young Scientist.” The goal of the competition is to assist students in grades 5 through 8 in developing an original concept that will improve the world.

Young scientists who are recognized with the award get a financial incentive of $25,000 in addition to the renowned title.

According to a press release announcing the honor, Heman earned the top prize this year on October 9 and 10 at the 3M headquarters in St. Paul, Minnesota.

A ninth-grader from San Jose, California named Shripriya Kalbhavi won second place for creating an inexpensive patch that enables self-automated medicine distribution without tablets or needles.

Third-place winner Sarah Wang, a seventh-grader from Andover, Massachusetts, created a glove that can recognize specific epileptic episodes via regular hand motions.

The children who came in fourth through tenth place each received a $1,000 reward and a $500 gift card, while Shripriya and Sarah each received $2,000. Among others, the other acknowledged pupils are from Austin, Texas; Oviedo, Florida; New Rochelle, New York; Portland, Oregon; Baltimore; and others.

Learn more about the skin cancer treatment developed by Heman Bekele

Heman created a soap bar made of compounds with melanoma treatment in mind. Making one bar of soap costs roughly fifty cents.

Over the following five years, Heman plans to improve his invention and establish a non-profit company to provide the soap to underserved areas, as reported by 3M and Discovery Education.

When USA TODAY asked the competition’s organizers for an interview with Heman on Monday, they didn’t react right away.

Rising rates of skin cancer in the US

Rising rates of skin cancer in the US
Rising rates of skin cancer in the US.

According to the National Cancer Institute, there has been a rise in skin cancer incidences in the US during the previous several decades.

In 2019, there were 24.1 new cases for per 100,000 individuals, up from 14.6 in 1992.

According to the National Institutes of Health, 1.5 million new instances of skin cancer are anticipated globally in 2020, making it one of the most frequently diagnosed cancer types.

Originally published on USA TODAY, this article says: a 14-year-old selected America’s Top Young Scientist for creating soap to cure skin cancer.

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